On the 18th March 2021, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria hosted the Gratias Agit Award winning ceremony. The Gratias Agit Award has been awarded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the promotion of the good name of the Czech Republic abroad ever since 1997 in appreciation of prominent personas and organizations developing activities in non-governmental fields.
Gratias Agit Award is becoming an even more prestigious prize, celebrating the voluntary activities of people who are committed to work for the benefit of the society as a whole. We thank the awarded person for promoting friendship between the Nations and for spreading the good name of the Czech Republic in the world.
On 18th March 2021, the Laureate of Gratis Agit 2020, was Awarded to Mrs. Tali Nates. Mrs. Tali Nates is the founder and Executive Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Centre in Johannesburg. She lectures internationally to educate young people about the Holocaust, Genocide prevention, Reconciliation and Human Rights.
In his opening remarks Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Dr. Pavel Řezáč acknowledged the German Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa H.E. Martin Schäfer, who recently published a heartfelt letter to the Holocaust survivor Mrs. Veronica Phillips, who passed away 2 weeks ago in Johannesburg. On Monday March 8th the Czech Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau organized the virtual act of commemoration for 3.792 victims/Czechoslovak citizens who were killed in the name of Final Solution at the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1944. That was the largest massacre of Czechoslovak citizens in the history. Said H.E. Dr. Pavel Řezáč
On Wednesday April 7th whole world will commemorate International Day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda – “Kwibuka/To remember” almost 1 million Tutsis killed in a period of 100 days (UNGA resolution 2003). In April 1994 the Czech Republic presided UNSC and was amongst first states (with Nigeria and New Zealand) which pointed out the massive slaughters of Tutsis as a genocide. Our former Ambassador to UN Mr. Karel Kovanda was awarded by the President Kagame by the “UMURINZI” medal in 2010. As a former Czech Ambassador to Rwanda I attended with Ambassador Kovanda “Kwibuka commemoration” in Kigali three times.
All we need is to keep the history at our memories but what is the most important we are obliged to share our opinion from the past with the young generation to avoid a recurrence said H.E. Pavel Řezáč Ambassador
Opening the Gratias Agit award winning ceremony Alice Mžyková
Minister Counsellor of the Embassy Czech Republic said “Under the normal circumstances, the recipients are invited to Prague, where the ceremony takes place. Last year, however, as many other culture events are being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this award is presented to the recipients by the respective Embassies. Which is even better for us!
This prestigious prize has been awarded every year since 1997 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of my country for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. It is an instrument, which allows the Minister to appreciate a prominent person or an organization, developing activities in non-government fields as well as the increasing role of the civic society. In last 23 years, the Crystal Globe was handed over to almost 350 Laureats around the world, to the 12 in 2020.
Today, I am proud to introduce to you, Mrs. Tali Nates, thanks to Mrs. Tali Nates’s effort and her ability to attract support, there is now a unique Remembrance exhibition at the Centre, dedicated the Holocaust as it unfolded during the Second World War in former Czechoslovakia.
Special attention is paid to what happened in the concentration camp Terezín said
Tali has presented the occurrences to the visitors very sensitively, using drawings and poems. These drawings and poems were created by the children of prisoners and form apart of the new exhibition.
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By The Diplomatic Informer SA
Images The Diplomatic Informer, Calvin Modirapula